About Me
My name is Rachel, I live in California, I'm 40, married for 15 years to Sean and have two dogs. My hobbies are my dogs Leo & Ferny, hiking, exploring, enjoying life.

Rob Follett

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Mojave National Preserve
JTNP - Geology Tour
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These Canyons are Full of Ghosts ~ Emmett C. Harder
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood ~ Rebecca Wells
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Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance ~Robert M. Pirsig

The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life ~ Thomas Moore, April 29, 2005
Nine Princes in Amber ~ Roger Zelazny, April 18, 2005
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Eye of the World ~ Robert Jordan, March 14, 2005


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Khiori's Solitude

"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings; Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine into flowers..."
~John Muir

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« September 2004 | Main | November 2004 »

October 29, 2004

A letter from Grandma

I found a letter that my grandmother started to her Aunt Alice. It was so touching I thought I would share it here. I guess the love of dogs runs in my family :)

"Aug 24, 1974

Dearest Aunt Alice,

Well. So you had to get sick. Do you think that is very nice? That is one way to get some rest, but none of us care for it that way.

All kidding aside I hope your [sic] feeling better by now and that you are home.

How is your dog? Mine is the queen of the roost. I sometimes think I love her too much. But she is a lot of company and like people each dog has its own personalities & cute little habits. Even if they are ugly - to his owner they are cute. And most important they love us no matter what we look like and they are a companion and someone to talk to and fuss at.

I was talking to Henry (Billy's adopt. father) a couple weeks ago. And he told me he has one old retired bitch & a male dog in the house with him.

Each one sleeps on the bed with him. One on each side of him. They hear a noise & both will jump off the bed & investigate. You know how Boston terriers never get along together. They are always scrapping & fighting. Then they'll jump back on the bed get there [sic] side of the bed mixed up & get into a fight on the bed until they get on each side of Henry.

Henry told me he doesn't know what he'd do without his dogs. They are his life. And he enjoys all the work he has to do for them. I guess he has about 12 or 15 of them. Most of them are bitches too old too [sic] breed. But he hasn't the heart to part with them or put them too [sic] sleep. So he keeps feeding them. He can [tell] you the faults & all the cute little things of each dog. So I guess Henry is nuttier than I about dogs. It is all his fault that he made me love animals. Just listening to him talk about dogs can teach you to love them & respect them. Any dog. Well enough about dogs."

She continued the letter about the dust storms in Phoenix, hanging clothes, and the summer rain storms.

Grandma died of lymphoma in 1984 Jan. Grandma Henry committed suicide in 1994 or so. He died not long after his last dog died. He had prostate cancer.

October 28, 2004

Joshua Tree NP - Bill Keys

I found some links about Bill Keys and the Desert Queen ranch. They are very interesting stories about this pioneering family. Can you imagine? People happily living in the desert like that - without all the air conditioning people think we need now? ;)

This link is a narrative "autobiography" of Bill Keys. Key's View by Michael Dare.

Key's to the Past talks about the ranch and family.

October 27, 2004

Rainy day blues

Blaaaahhhh. It's been cold and raining all day. It's a grey and cold day out there.

*peers outside*

I feel 10 years old and full of stir crazy energy. It feels frustrating. And it makes me want to cry.


Where's the sun?

October 26, 2004

Joshua Tree NP - Key's View

The shadows were growing long so we continued our way. The next stop was Key's View, named after Bill Keys who homesteaded in the area in 1917 until his death in 1969.

I was going to type up a big thing about Bill Keys and his family. But I think I might just do that for another entry. It's fairly interesting though. It really gives me pause to think of the people who adapted to the land or at least were able to sustain / thrive in such a harsh environment.

We went to Keys View and got some really nice views.
Keys View

I'm sure the better time to visit would be early morning before all the dust and haze rises. But even so we were afforded some interesting views of San Andreas fault, Salton Sea, Mexico, and so on. There was a short trail with plaques that talked about the air quality and other things. But there was a rather large group of tourists who didn't look as though they were wanting company. So we took some pictures and moved on.
Keys View

We were just about done with our day. Sun was setting and it was a long 100 mile drive home. BUT THERE WAS SO MUCH MORE TO DO! We couldn't just leave yet.

We stopped on the side of the road to watch a gorgeous sunset and have a very late picnic lunch of sandwiches, sodas, cheese and grapes.
Last stop before leaving

We had such a nice time sitting and talking quietly with each other about the day.
Last stop before leaving

I looked at the map and wished we had done the Geology Trail and Queen Valley Road. We decided to come back the next day :)

On our way home, we were treated to an amazing sunset and watched other people make their way home. It was dark by the time we reached the mountain. We returned via the "back side" on highway 38. It was probably 8pm by the time we got home. Exhausted but stunned with the beauty of the day... plus the knowing that we would be back the next :)

October 25, 2004


I guess Monday's are good for the weekend trip reports lol. We went geocaching locally on Saturday and Sunday. We only found two on Saturday. One was back near Willow Creek Falls. Just along the trail there 3W12. We walked a good 3/5 mile before getting close to the cache. Then just a bit off the path to find the actual box. Just above us there was a road with people walking with their dog. Made me go "hmmmm" :\ thinking there was probably a much easier way to get there.

We walked past a nice big patch of wild roses covered in rose hips.
Rose Hips

We next drove around the lake and stopped at the hospital for a cache that's hidden in the parking lot. It was a quick in-and-out cache. There's lots of activity going on behind the hospital. Now with the rains the dust has settled. I'm sure that's a big relief to the hospital. Come to think of it, I applied for several jobs there and never heard back from them :mad:

Sunday, we had plans to meet friends at Lake Arrowhead for breakfast at Belgium Waffle Works. I don't know why we all keep going there lol. The wait is super long, we all have waffles but I think we're not that crazy over waffles. But it's a nice place to eat. Maybe next time we will go back to Crestline Top Town to Loose Caboose :)

Anyway, I digress. We had breakfast and finally said our good byes at noon. They are planning on moving sometime in the future - even though we don't get together often, Sean and I will really miss them :(

So we hit the trail for some geocaching. I had no idea how many we would hit because it's so easy to hit snags. And sure enough, we hit one right off. First cache was a multi cache. So go find clue and alter the final coordinates to find the actual cache. Problem was we made the adjustment on the last coordinates and went hunting. Nothing.
Looking looking looking

Put last coordinates back to default and changed the first ones. Nothing. Finally made changes to both and found the cache. That took a good hour and a half and probably 2 1/2 miles of tromping through mud and forest. Dropped off a travel bug.

There was another cache nearby. "Only" a third mile. Insert that very aggravating "rolleyes" smilie here. :| Another hour later and 1 1/2 mile tromp through mud and forest and we finally found the cache. TNLNSL. Off we went.

There was another cache close by off to our north west so we drove over there. 2N75 I believe was the trail. Anyway, it was a quick one. In and ... not quite out. I noticed a cache nearby again. "Only" 1/3 mile away. The GPS was pointing us to a trail clear as day. So we took it. The last tenth of a mile is always the worst. It was straight up a ravine through - you guessed, mud and forest. We read the directions and decided to approach from another direction. One that was to take us within 300 ft from car to cache.

It was an awesome view up there. If it had been clearer we could have seen forever. Anyway, once there, again it was a quick find.

We were going to try for one last cache. One that I have been attempting since we started caching. You park at the Pinnacles Staging area and hike shortly to the cache. Problem is that the road leading to the cache is closed due to fire danger. You can hike in, but you can't drive it. According to the GPS from the road it is 3/4 mile to the cache. That doesn't take into account all the winding the road does. We got over there with the intention of hiking in but there were three cars parked there (since the day before). We figured they are hunting and didn't want to disturb anything going on. So we skipped it yet again for another day.

And lovely for me - woke up with a cold. It feels like one that comes on quickly and leaves just as easily.

October 22, 2004

New catagory

I created a new catagory. Joshua Tree NP. ha!

Ok. That is all.

October 21, 2004

Joshua Tree NP - Split Rock Picnic and Skull Rock Trail

Entrance sign to Joshua Tree National ParkWe left the park to get some gas (had to show our pay stub leaving and reentering the park). Then zoomed back in. It was getting late at this point and we knew our day time exploring would come to an end soon. We hadn't eaten yet (not even breakfast). It was around 2:30pm.

Our first stop was at a picnic ground called "Split Rock". Right across the road was another picnic area called "Live Oak". We just randomly picked a place and drove in. It was a bit crowded with cars but no one in sight. We saw picnic tables and a nice CLEAN outhouse. Then the trails.

Split Rock Picnic Area

There were trails that went just about everywhere. Again, we randomly picked one and started walking. I have to put here that I carried a "fanny pack" that held quite a bit of things like camera, first aid, sunscreen lotion and several bottles of water. It's pretty nifty!

We saw some folks rock climbing a vertical face. But for some reason, I got really hot and really aggravated. So we turned back to find shade and eat our lunch. Right under "Split Rock" is a cave that (by the looks of it) has been used for generations. You could probably have an entire tribe utilizing this cave as base camp.

Split Rock Cave

We were at a point where we weren't sure where to go next. We decided to check out Keys View. On the way we saw a spot called "Haunted Tunnels" or something so we just HAD to stop. So we did :) On the map it's called "Skull Rock" Well, we found neither a tunnel, a skull or anything remotely close to haunted. But we did find lots of .....

trails .....
Skull Rock Trail

lizards ...


and me :)

Skull Rock Me

October 20, 2004

Rain and Halloween

It's raining. A LOT. It's been raining since Sunday and I believe the area has gotten about 12" since it started. Yikes. And not even El Nino this year.

The whole forest is dripping and soggy. The birds are out singing now - even though we're socked in with fog. Most of the roads have some kind of damage or closure right now. And it's still raining!

Here's my Halloween decoration. Seems like something near tragic happens to me/my family around this time of year. Let's go low profile. There's my pumpkin (look left - on main page)

October 19, 2004


We went camping. Yes, I said Camping. It was the first time Sean and I have gone since we've been married, and probably about 20 years since I have gone. And we all made it back.

I know - it sounds a bit silly to be so proud of camping. I was very dubious about the whole thing though. And there were a couple moments of uncertainty lol.

We went desert camping. It was with the dogs and an ancient Coleman tent. We really went because of an off roading event for Sean. He had a WONDERFUL time :) And I had a blast just hanging out at camp with the dogs. There was a group of about 14 to 16 people there... and during the day there were a bunch who came by just to go off road.

Solo did pretty good considering the heat (about 80's) and Leo had a BLAST. They got to run and play pretty much as they wanted.

My real fun didn't start until around 3pm. I was sitting at the tent with the dogs watching everyone under the community tent (the dog's weren't that welcome and the tent was too hot to leave the dogs in - so I stayed with them) Anyway, I was sitting there with the dogs on leash and watching the group when all of a sudden a wind started blowing. I grabbed onto the tarp that was shading the area to keep it from flying away all the while hanging onto the dogs. A tent got loose and Sean noticed my trouble. We were about to lose our tarp and tent

Sean came running and we took down the tarp, dragged all our things in the tent to hold down the inside and took the "top" (a rain thing?) off the tent.

The wind really didn't stop blowing after that. It started like a switch was thrown and kept on til morning.

The group we were with were mainly younger folks and around evening they started a big bonfire. I was so exhausted that I was in bed already. I could see some had gone on a night run and watched their lights on the mesas, and little fire balls were bouncing past our tent. It was blowing a good 35 mph outside, a good 15 mph inside the tent and I swear about 8 mph in my sleeping bag.

The tent was freaky though. There was that bonfire which was creepy. But then there was a wild flapping on the tent which reminded me of a scene in Blair Witch Project (where they wake up suddenly and their tent is being shaken by children's hands). Plus the fireballs bouncing past... but to top it all off someone had turned on their car radio which was playing loudly the theme song from MTV's Fear. Ack! I was getting seriously spooked. And all the while waiting for the tent (and all of us) to go blowing away into the desert.

Overall it was a very cool weekend :D

Some pics:

October 18, 2004

Joshua Tree NP – Transition Zone

We left the Cholla Cactus Garden and continued along Pinto Basin Road. It was as if we were in a completely new land when we came over a ridge and landed into the “Transition Zone”.

This area is the land that lies between the Colorado Desert and the Mojave Desert. We pulled off at a trailhead to look around and take pictures. This is the typical kind of landscape that was in this area.
Transition Zone

We were drawn to all the different rock formations and couldn’t really say why. In fact we commented on that several times. The next day we would really find out more about these rocks and get a very good look at why we were so drawn to them. In the meantime – pictures!





I really hesitated including this picture. But I was really happy. And I shrank it small enough to not be able to really make out what I look like :p

October 15, 2004

Joshua Tree NP - The Cholla Cactus Garden

Cholla Cactus Garden at last! This nature trail had 16 stops with descriptions. And lucky for us, there was a trail guide pamphlet too :)

Cholla Cactus

In this area, annual rainfall rarely exceeds 4". Summer temps are in the 115 F range. Yikes. Hot and dry. Cholla: Opuntia bigelovii

1. Cholla are pronounced "choy-ya" and are armed with barbs on the tips of every needle. We didn't get 'stuck' here - but a week later we had a slight run-in with it. It sticks! The plant is also called the Teddy Bear cactus but woe to whomever hugs this thing! =:o

2. This marker showed a ... nest? It talked of the 'desert wood rat'. We didn't see any. We did see the nest though.
Wood Rat nest
This was about 5 feet long and 3 feet across. And I'm guessing at least two feet tall. Of course, snakes often will eat the rats living in these nests. The thing that impressed me was the rat's ability to live among the cholla cactus. According to the pamphlet if a rat gets stuck with a needle "rather than struggle, the wood rat patiently turns and bites off the spines." I wonder what coyote do?

3. This marker showed an example of a Silver Cholla. I can't seem to find a picture of one in my files although I'm sure we took a photo of one. Oh well. It's common to the area. It's also called the "Opuntia echinocarpa."

4. At one time this basin was a shallow lake. Time marches on and changes all things. The mountains (once tall) are now rubble. Sand and gravel fill the one time lake. It's now filled with cactus and a part of the Colorado desert.

5. Another cactus I don't seem to have a photo of. The Hedgehog cactus or Enchinocereus engelmannii.

6. The Climbing Milkweed is living on this cholla.
Climbing Milkweek

7. Creosote bush! This plant is very interesting for how it survives. It will create a soil change that prevents other plants from growing around it. Sometimes up to 20 feet. The roots are both deep and shallow to gather as much moisture as possible. There are three sets of leaves. Spring growth falls off during hot summer months. If a drought continues, the hardier/olive type leaves will fall off. And lastly, the brown, hard leaves will continue to function when the other two types of leaves fall off. How cool is all that?!
Creosote Bush

8. The cactus colony is able to grow so well here due to the water supply being "seasonally plentiful" and well-drained soil. At least that's what the pamphlet said ;)

9. There was a jojoba plant here. I almost missed it but did go back and take a photo of it. It didn't turn out well. But I would like to mention again the need for desert dwellers to assist in each other's survival. The ground squirrel will take the seeds and bury them for storage - but in effect "plants" the seeds. The plants produce either "male" or "female" flowers. The leaves will stand erect in sun (to reduce the amount of light received) and are covered with fine white "hairs" to reduce overheating and water evaporation.

10. The Cholla aren't burned. The dark brown is indication of the plant aging and dying from the bottom up.
Cholla growth

11. The next marker showed a cholla with bird's nests in them. The cactus wren will build their nests and raise their young in the cactus. We saw the hole in the cactus but no birds. People probably distrubed the birds at some point in the past and they've since stopped nesting here?

12. The Pencil Cholla!
Pencil Cholla
We saw some of these down at the Bajada. They were dried up and stick-ish looking. Then there were others nice and green and plump. Obviously those had some water and were storing it. Do not touch - they have those fine hairlike spines that are next to impossible to remove. OUCH.

13. This marker showed the roots of the cactus and how they are close to the surface. They are also cork-like in looks and function. No piccy. Sorry!

14. The Pinto Basin. I didn't appreciate this view as much as I would the next day. The view is of the Eagle Mountains (to the center and furthest away). It has deep canyons, palm oases, and pine forest. To the right are the Hexie Mountains. In the far distance is the Coxcomb Mountains. And to the left are the Pinto Mountains.
Pinto Basin

15. Believe it or not, the local peoples (the Cahuilla Indians) would eat the cholla. The buds were collected into baskets with sticks (I wonder if the cactus would "climb" their way out?). The buds were steamed for 12 hrs or more in pits lined with hot stones. The end result was both eaten new and stored for later use.

16. At this point we were hot, tired and ready to move. So I didn't get a photo :\ But the Desert Senna stood here at the very end. I honestly don't remember it. We were in that much of a hurry to move on.

The pamphlet ends with this:
Along this trail you have seen how life can flouish in the desert. To live here requires special adaptations in the roots, leaves, and seeds of plants. The plants found here have developed modifications over a long period of time. Where you find plants you will always find animals, if you take the time to look. Perhaps you saw a side-blotched lizard dart across the path or a red-tailed hawk soaring overhead. Life abounds, and what seems to us to be the most hostile environment can be most hospitable to others.

I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did writing it - but mostly experiencing it!

October 14, 2004

Joshua Tree NP - Heading to the Cactus Garden

We got back on the road and continued our way. The road we were on sits in a valley of sorts called "Pinto Basin". It's classified as the Colorado desert. We will eventually cross over to the Mojave desert.
Pinto Basin

We crossed a wash with a name. It made me laugh so we took a picture of the sign. I have no idea who named these things nor why they got the names they did.
Fried Liver Wash

And here's the hero of the day!!

We soon reached the Cactus Garden. It was incredible coming over a rise and seeing an ocean of cactus. There were signs that cautioned us not to stop. So we didn't - but waited until we got to the Garden itself. It had a full parking lot and many people were walking the short trail. One lady had an umbrella which I commented on how clever it was to stay cool. My legs were burning from the heat of the ground - almost like cooking. It was a strange sensation that I get from time to time in heat like that.
Cholla cactus view


I've added a link on the top and bottom to the forums. They've been available for several years but I've just changed the layout to match this site and linked it all together.

October 13, 2004

Joshua Tree NP - The Desert ... Deserted?

Between the Bajada and the Visitor's Center is a small turn out with a path leading toward a wash and some rocky hills. You could easily miss it. I'm sure there were tons of these places along the road that we never saw. But we saw this one and stopped to see what we could see.

The desert to me seemed like a dead, dry place where the land hardly gives enough for the inhabitants to survive. How far from the truth!!

Walking this short trail we could see many plants living. Some seemed dead. Some in a state of readiness. They were all alive though.

We walked to the wash near some rocky hills. There were amazing looking plants. This cactus was just one of a dozen we saw.
Red Cactus

We turned a corner and saw this Palo Verde Tree. I see why it gets its name! It was so green!
Palo Verde Tree

The longer we were there, the longer we watched and listened - the more we realized how many things were calling this desert their home. Birds were everywhere. Lizards and bugs. The plants. All living here and hardly seen. It was awesome.

The deserted desert?
So the question begs an answer. Is the desert deserted? Hardly.

Joshua Tree NP - The Ocotillo Patch

I'm going to talk about two stops we made next. First was at the visitor's center to get our pass. It was $10.00 per car. We talked a little with the ranger there about our dogs and that it's too bad they couldn't go on the trails. She peered out to the parking lot to look at our car and we quickly let her know we didn't bring them but that they enjoy going places with us :)

Anyway, the ticket was good for seven days and the time we paid was 12:20pm. A little late in the day but still at least four hours to drive around. We were running low on gas so knew we'd have to drive north out of the park to Twentynine Palms to get some more. But in the meantime, we'd stop a few places along the way.

We first took a stop at a crossroads. It was Old Dale Road, Black Eagle Mine Road and the one we were on - Pinto Basin Road. The views were amazing. Sean wanted to take one of the side roads (sandy) but with only us it would be dangerous. So we took a photo and drove on.

Hmm, I'm forgetting one stop prior to this but I will get to that later on. It was at a place titled "The Desert . . . Deserted?" It was fascinating. I will definately write about it later.

We drove on to Ocotillo Patch. It was such a neat place. We stopped next to a wash (I don't remember the name now) and got out to take pictures. These ocotillo are really neat plants. They grow to be very tall. They have a beautiful green shade due to small leaves that grow all over it. And when in bloom it is covered in small red flowers that remind me of little firecrackers. This picture doesn't do justice to the plant.

I was watching a group of Jeeps passing by and wishing we had 4x4 type friends :)

October 12, 2004


Ok - I'm NOT going to turn this into a political blogger but I just can't let this one slip by without comment.

What is up with John Edwards and such an amazing promise??

Blantantly stolen from Drudgereport.com:
"Edwards Stem Cell Vision: 'We will stop juvenile diabetes, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and other debilitating diseases... When John Kerry is president, people like Christopher Reeve are going get up out of that wheelchair and walk again.' Edwards made the unprecedented campaign promises during 30-minute speech at Newton High School gym in Newton, Iowa... "

October 08, 2004

Dogs in National Parks

I wondered why dogs are always so unwelcome at national (and other natural) sites. It always seemed a bit snobbish to me. I mean - they're dogs! There are coyotes all over the place and no one is out shooing *them* off.

But now it makes sense. Gotta read those handouts you get at the parks.

According to the Anza-Borrego annual newspaper: "Walking your dog on the trails is forbidden California State Parks. Dogs are predators by nature, and their presence or lingering scent may disturb or frighten wildlife. Dogs can also transmit diseases and parasites to our wild neighbors. Lastly, although your dog is probably delightful, many dogs scare visitors and harass wildlife."

Ok, I don't necessarily agree with the last two statements. Most dogs these days are socialized and vetted. But the first part makes perfect sense. So I finally do understand why they aren't allowed on trails.

In addition:
Why aren't dogs allowed on trails or in wilderness areas?

There are many reasons. Many animals in the Park react to the scent of a canine, reading only: predator. Although your dog may be friendly, many of the animals that live in a habitat will avoid areas where a predator scent has been left. This means they may not be able to search for food or find safety in their usual places. In addition, many diseases may be spread either to your dog from wildlife or vice versa. Some of these diseases like Plague and Lyme Disease are dangerous to humans as well.

The desert poses some special problems for dogs. Cholla cactus can easily become embedded in a dog's paw, then mouth, the other paw, etc. Many dogs have been rushed from the Park to emergency veterinary care an hour or more away. ....

It also talked of rattlesnakes and burned pads. I have to mention the cholla because it happened to us. When we were stranded in the sand, Leo was off exploring the road. (he stays on the road due to my *constant* reminding ;) ) About 10 minutes he can running back looking funny. Sure enough, he brushed into a cholla cactus, got it stuck on his side, tried to pull it off with his mouth, got it stuck in his flew, tried to paw it off, got it stuck on his leg, then finally got smart and ran to us for help. The stuff STICKS. I got it stuck on me as I pulled it from his flew. Thankfully, I had brought their grooming tools and a flea comb works perfectly for pulling out cholla safely.

Sometimes we do walk them on roads. That is allowed. And we did let them run at Truckhaven (no one was around and it's outside the park). It was a lot of fun watching them run 100 yards away from the car, turn around and race past to go 100 yards the other way. Then then jumped in the truck as if to say "Ok, let's go and see what else is out there *pant* *pant*" :D There's no cholla there ;)

October 07, 2004

Dogs and the desert

I just wanted to add a little story to break up the Joshua Tree NP stories. This is of when we went to Anza Borrego and took Solo and Leo with us.

Leo LOVED it. He would rush out of the car every time we stopped. (on leash of course) Solo you would have to coax out and help him in and out :rolleyes: Well here's a photo of exactly what I mean. Can you guess who is Leo and who is Solo?? :\

Leo and Solo

October 06, 2004

Joshua Tree NP - The Bajada

Continuing the story of Joshua Tree National Park. The Bajada Nature Trail was our first stop.

I should mention here a couple things. The park has NO services. At least not many. There's no gas, no food and limited water. You can find water at Cottonwood Camp and Black Rock Camp. Also at the entrances there are water fountains. But don't expect to be driving along and get hungry/thirsty and think you'll find something right away. You won't.

Also, fees. $10.00 per car or $25.00 for annual pass. We finally got smart and bought (the following weekend) a Golden Eagle Passport which gets us in practically everywhere. There are camping fees - regardless of pass you have. They range in $5.00 to $10.00 per night depending on camp.

Ok, back to Bajada trail. :) It's a quarter mile loop on packed sand. At first I was just excited to finally be there. But after a little while I began to realize the fragilities of the desert. All these plants depending on one another. The soil, the plants, the bugs, the birds and lizards, the dead matter, the wash - it all is dependent on each other. While we saw a seemingly dead land - these all patiently wait for the conditions that send it all into a growing and blooming pattern. Furiously they grow and reproduce before conditions once again send them into a patient waiting.

Incidentally, it was about 100 degrees when we arrived. It lowered slightly (about 95) during the day - but overall about the same. It was pleasant though due to a nice breeze and your body adjusts well to the dryness. I used LOTS of sunscreen though.

We left to go on our way. We didn't get far. We stopped at another little walk in a wash which showed how alive the seemingly dead desert really is.

Couple pics :)

Joshua Tree NP map

food for the desert

October 05, 2004

Children's Forest Presentation

Just a quick note. The Children's Forest Presentation is up. I will add text later but I wanted to put the links all up. Check it out: Children's Forest
Rise of the Phoenix Trail

Joshua Tree NP

I could probably create a month's worth of entries entirely based on Joshua Tree National Park. It was INCREDIBLE! From the moment we got there until we longingly left we were overcome in awe. I want to go back. Let's start at the beginning....

I was to start a new job the following Tuesday. (September 28, 2004) We had been out and about and thoroughly enjoying ourselves. The job that I was to take on would require all weekends. So we thought we would grab one last one at a place we hadn't been to before.

I thought of two places. The first and the one I leaned more toward was Providence Mountains in the Mojave Desert - north east of us. The other and closer was Joshua Tree. We had been to neither but decided on Joshua Tree due to the easier trip and shorter drive.

We packed a big lunch, loaded up full of water and headed out at the late hour of 10am. We arrived at about noon or just after. It was a really nice and interesting drive. The desert areas were fascinating. We first saw many wind mills - those wind farm kind. Then we passed a ton of Indian casinos. That sort of blew our minds.

We entered the park from the south at the Cottonwood entrance. Before even entering the park we were jaw dropped at the beauty. Unfortunately we didn't get any pictures of that part. But we soon had the opportunity to stop at a nature walk. It was called the "Bajada Nature Walk". I'll talk more about that tomorrow.

I just want to quickly highlight the day. We walked the Bajada. Then another short trail. We stopped at the Cottonwood station to pay our $10.00 fee. We drove through to the Cactus Garden, out to Twenty-nine Palms for gas, back in to Jumbo Rocks, Keys View, then out to home. It was about 5pm when we finally left. Knowing how much we missed we returned the following day to see Barker Dam, Queen Valley and the pinnacle of both days - the Geology Tour Road.

A teaser photo:
Cholla Cactus Garden

October 04, 2004


Wow. So much has gone on the past week and a half. I'm not sure where to start. Perhaps at the beginning...

The last day of my entry I had expectations of a new job. Well. I had a call to go in for an interview on the following Tuesday. I had the interview - it went well. They checked out my references and ran a security check. Got hired and two days later I had to quit. It was too much. Blah. My joints hurt so bad I couldn't sleep at night. There were other (numerous) factors but bottomline was - I just physically could not do the job.

Next few days I'll add more. Specifically about Joshua Tree National Park and Anza-Borrego. Oh and getting stuck in sand. :|

Old Kane Road - Ocotillo CA

Another web site concerning the Mountain Communities of the San Bernardino mountains. Thank you for visiting :o)

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